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Ethiopian Legend Haile Gebrselassie Elected President for Ethiopia’s Athletics Federation

Ethiopia’s retired Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie has been elected the president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) after Ethiopia’s disappointing poor Rio Olympic performance.

The former long distance runner broke 27 world records, 61 local records in various distances in a career spanning more than 20 years. He still holds the 20,00m track record he set in Ostrava in 2007 and is considered the country’s greatest Athletes of all time.

The 43-year-old legend has not held back and publicly criticized his disappointment for Ethiopia’s lack of representation at the international Olympic Committee and promised a difference with a change in administration.

He won with nine out of the 15 cast votes for the presidency election. Speaking to the media, a happy Gebrselassie said,

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Athletes have become owners of their own house after many years. I am happy to be elected to lead a house that I know very well,”[/perfectpullquote]

He also vowed that the interests of future Ethiopian athletes would be “properly represented in the international Olympics Committee”.

Considering his stature and pedigree in the world of athletics, Gebrselassie will definitely get absorbed in the World Athletics and International Olympic Committee governing body.

His election has brought excitement to many runners who have been considering the asylum option with the conflicts in the country.

Three other professional Ethiopian athletes, Gebre-Egziabeher Gebremariam, Meseret Defar and Sileshi Sihin were also voted to the EAF executive committee.

The leadership change increases reason for the oldest Athletic Federation in Africa to celebrate as they turn 60 years and many are seeing this as a chance for Ethiopia to return to their old selves as undisputed long distance champions.


Feature Photo: Haile Cerebrating With the Ethiopian Flag. (Photo from Getty Images)

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